The Selection Process

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The Selection Process for applicants who wish to enter in Year 7 (Form 1)

This Entry Point is for pupils who are currently in their final year of the Primary School and wish to join the National Sport School in their first year of secondary school.

Entry to the school is by application and under a pre-published set of terms and conditions.

The leading principle for the school is that it offers places only to talented and highly skilled young student-athletes who have demonstrated a high achievement in their chosen sport and, who are, at their age, considered to be amongst the very best of the talent pool available in the Maltese Islands.

In addition, the selection of student-athletes into the National Sport School considers the following criteria:

  • Positive and enthusiastic attitude to support their personal development
  • Desire to succeed
  • Self-confidence
  • High potential for future development in their identified sport
  • High level of coachability that enables them to seek and accept a variety of feedback
  • Very good level of demonstrated physiological attributes, technical competencies relevant to their identified sport (evaluated through a defined sports assessment)
  • Good level of sporting knowledge (general rules and regulations, sports techniques, skills and tactics) relevant to their identified sport
  • Demonstrate positive academic effort, behaviour and achievement
  • High level of parental support

The application process has six stages at four of which the number of applicants will be reduced.

At the Year 7 (Form 1) entry point there are up to forty-two [42] places available. From these forty-two, up to fourteen [14] are set aside for applicants from football as this is by far, by sheer weight of participation, the primary sport in Malta and at the NSS (as an average, 65% of applicants derive from students with football as their identified sport).

These are:-

Phase One

The NSS meets annually with all the National Sporting Bodies (NSB’s) to agree the nature and methods of measurement, assessment criteria and/or minimum qualifying standards of the sports assessments to be hosted by each sport.

Agreement is reached with every NSB and the format of the sports assessment, assessment criteria and/or minimum qualifying standards are published when the annual information/launch meeting is held at the beginning of the application process.

Phase Two

The eligibility phase of the process is significant in that the NSS here identifies those candidates that fully comply with the eligibility criteria here under:-

  • Student-athlete will be born in the year 2008
  • Student-athlete will have been recommended by his/her NSB as a talented and highly skilled young student-athlete who is considered to be amongst the very best of the talented pool available in the Maltese Islands.
  • Student-athlete will have been practicing their sport with a club recognised and governed by the relevant NSB for not less than 12 months from date of application.

Documentary Requirements to apply

Students must submit the following items to the Customer Care Office/One Stop Shop, Directorate for Educational Services in Floriana, in conjunction with the hard copy application form. Please note that all original documents must be produced upon submission to verify their authenticity.

  • A properly complete application form which is to be downloaded from the NSS website here
  • Any current and past school reports, testimonials and recommendations (only optional – latest two years records would be enough)
  • Photocopy of all relevant Psycho Educational or Special Education Evaluation Reports (if applicable)
  • Two [2] passport size photographs (approximately 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm). Please write student’s name on the back of the photographs
  • Student’s Birth Certificate

After phase one all applicants will be informed if they have met the eligibility criteria or not, with those who have not, being excluded at this phase.

Phase Three

The sports assessment phase is by far the most important phase of the application process and carries a full 60% of the overall weighting.

Assessments will be staged by the NSB’s across all the sports the NSS supports in accordance with the agreed criteria and/or minimum qualifying standards agreed in phase one. The formats for these assessments will be agreed in writing between the NSS and the NSB’s prior to the commencement of the sports assessment phase and published prior to the call for applications.

Failure by the NSB to agree and publish the assessment criteria will result in the exclusion of the consideration of applicants in that sport.

From there a table of results is prepared for the general sports and football. The top thirty-three [33] from the general sports and the top seventeen [17] from football are shortlisted for the next phase and all others are eliminated from the process.

Those students that have met the eligibility criteria will be forwarded a copy of the sports assessment process for their respective sport at the time of their confirmation of eligibility. Links to the notes for each sport’s assessment are available for download on the NSS’s website here

Phase Four

The National Benchmark Exams phase of the process is also a key element in the process and carries a full 30% overall weighting.

This phase is an element managed and controlled by the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes. Applicants that have reached phase three will be required to sit for the National Benchmark exams in the three core subjects of Maltese, English and Mathematics. More information about the National Benchmark Exam can be found here.

Once the National Benchmark Exam results have been sent to the NSS they are added to the marks achieved in the sports assessment phase of the process and the table of results is recalculated. Whilst the NSS is fully recognisant of the fact that the educational element of the process is not the primary focus of the school, it does recognize that there has to be a minimum achievable level for the three core subjects for which the students sit for.

In recent years, the national mean mark across the three subjects hovers around the 70%. The NSS whilst being a sporting school of excellence also offers a dual career path to its student-athletes under a modified curriculum and therefore has a duty of care to ensure that the academic standards at school are maintained. With this in mind, a minimum threshold of 45% in any two subjects and 35% in one of these three core subjects is required to be considered for the next phase of the process. In summary, for the avoidance of any doubt, any student-applicant that does not obtain this minimum mark or better in the three subjects will be eliminated from the process at this stage.

Phase Five

The interview phase of the process carries the final 10% of the overall weighting and although there will be applicants that have already qualified to gain entry to the school it is nonetheless compulsory.

The interviews are carried out in a casual and clam manner and are conducted in the presence of the student’s parents or guardians. The interview phase is conducted taking into account four areas of interest.

These are:-


The interviews are carried out by a panel of three [3] which consists of the Chairman of the Selection Board, a representative for the Ministry of Education and the school’s Sports Psychologist. The Sports Psychologist is in attendance as an integral part of the interview board but also as a safety net for the children. The interview board scores each student privately and then the overall interview mark is computed after the final interview has been completed.

Students that have attained a place by scoring enough points in the process before the interview stage will not be informed of this fact prior to the interviews but may be told they have attained a place at the NSS at the conclusion of their interview.

Phase Six

The publication of results will happen just as soon as the interview marks have been computed and added to the table of results.

The results will be communicated to the parents or guardians of the students not more than five [5] days after the final interview is conducted and will be published simultaneously at the Customer Care Office, Directorate for Educational Services in Floriana.

2019 Selection Process Timetable

The following dates may be subject to change. All application forms will be acknowledged and parents will receive a letter informing them whether their child has been successful in gaining a trial.

Results of the Selection Process

On completion of all interviews with the short-listed recommended students, the Selection Board will make its final decisions. The Selection Board will notify all candidates of the final result of the selection process. Candidates may receive notification of one of the following:

  • A Provisional Place which they then accept or decline;
  • A Reserve Place which they can accept or decline;
  • No Place

Any form of soliciting to influence the selection of students will automatically exclude the applicant from the process. This covers political, personal approaches, bribes et al.

Message from the Selection Board

 The only person that can guarantee your child a place at the National Sports School is your child themselves.

If they are a highly skilled young athlete and identified by their National Sport Body as such during the trials phase of the process then they stand a very good chance of admittance. But, the realities are that the children attending the NSS will not play for a Champions League winner or achieve a gold medal at the Olympics and will need to find paid work at the end of their education. In respect of education the NSS is not looking for educational excellence at the exam phase of the process but rather educational competence. After all, with the above in mind, none of us would by choice send our children to a school known for a poor academic record.

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The Selection Process for applicants who wish to enter in Year 9 (Form 3)

This late entry point is for students who are currently in their second year at secondary school and wish to join the National Sport School in Year 9 (Form 3).

Entry to the school is by application and under a pre-published set of terms and conditions.

The leading principle for the school is that it offers places only to talented and highly skilled young student-athletes who have demonstrated a high achievement in their chosen sport and, who are, at their age, considered to be amongst the very best of the talent pool available in the Maltese Islands.

In addition, the selection of student-athletes into the National Sport School considers the following criteria:

  • Positive and enthusiastic attitude to support their personal development
  • Desire to succeed
  • Self-confidence
  • High potential for future development in their identified sport
  • High level of coachability that enables them to seek and accept a variety of feedback
  • Very good level of demonstrated physiological attributes, technical competencies relevant to their identified sport (evaluated through a defined sports assessment)
  • Good level of sporting knowledge (general rules and regulations, sports techniques, skills and tactics) relevant to their identified sport
  • Demonstrate positive academic effort, behaviour and achievement
  • High level of parental support

The application process has six stages at four of which the number of applicants will be reduced.

At the Year 9 (Form 3) entry point there are up to seven [7] places available. From these seven, up to five [5] are set aside for applicants from football as this is by far, by sheer weight of participation, the primary sport in Malta and at the NSS (as an average, 70% of applicants derive from students with football as their identified sport).

These are:-

 

Phase One 

The NSS meets annually with all the National Sporting Bodies (NSB’s) to agree the nature and methods of measurement, assessment criteria and/or minimum qualifying standards of the sports assessments to be hosted by each sport.

Agreement is reached with every NSB and the format of the sports assessment, assessment criteria and/or minimum qualifying standards are published when the annual information/launch meeting is held at the beginning of the application process.

Phase Two

The eligibility phase of the process is significant in that the NSS here identifies those candidates that fully comply with the eligibility criteria hereunder:-

  • Student-athlete will be born in the year 2006.
  • Student-athlete will have been recommended by his/her NSB as a talented and highly skilled young student-athlete who is considered to be amongst the very best of the talented pool available in the Maltese Islands
  • Student-athlete will have been practicing their sport with a club recognised and governed by the relevant NSB for not less than two [2] years from date of application.

Documentary Requirements to apply

Students must submit the following items to the Customer Care Office/One Stop Shop, Directorate for Educational Services in Floriana, in conjunction with the hard copy application form. Please note that all original documents must be produced upon submission to verify their authenticity.

  • A properly complete application form which is to be downloaded from the NSS website here.
  • Any current and past school reports, testimonials and recommendations (only optional – latest two years records would be enough).
  • Photocopy of all relevant Psycho Educational or Special Education Evaluation Reports (if applicable).
  • Two [2] passport size photographs (approximately 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm). Please write student’s name on the back of the photographs.
  • Photocopy of Student’s Birth Certificate.

After phase one, all applicants will be informed if they have met the eligibility criteria or not, with those who have not being excluded at this phase.

Phase Three

The sports assessment phase is by far the most important phase of the application process and carries a full 60% of the overall weighting.

Assessments will be staged by the NSB’s across all the sports the NSS supports. The formats for these assessments will be agreed in writing between the NSS and the NSB’s prior to the commencement of the sports assessment phase and published prior to the call for applications.

The message to the NSB’s at the sports assessment stage is that the NSS will only consider the genuinely talented students. This will be done by agreeing a set of minimum qualifying standards with each NSB. Failure by the NSB to agree and publish the assessment criteria will result in the exclusion of the consideration of applicants in that sport.

From there a table of results are prepared for the general sports and for football. The top fifteen [15] from the general sports and the top nine [9] from football are shortlisted for the next phase and all others are eliminated from the process.

Those students that have met the eligibility criteria will be forwarded a copy of the sports assessment process for their respective sport at the time of their confirmation of eligibility. Links to the notes for each sport’s assessment are available for download on the NSS’s website here.

Phase Four

The NSS Core Subjects Short Exams phase of the process is also a key element in the process and carries a full 30% overall weighting.

This phase is an element managed and controlled by the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes. Applicants that have reached phase three will be required to sit for the NSS Core Subjects short exams in the three [3] core subjects of Maltese, English and Mathematics.

Once the NSS Core Subjects Short Exams results have been sent to the NSS they are added to the marks achieved in the sports assessment phase of the process and the table of results is recalculated. Whilst the NSS is fully recognisant of the fact that the educational element of the process is not the primary focus of the school, it does recognize that there has to be a minimum achievable level for the three core subjects for which the students sit for.

The NSS whilst being a school of sporting excellence also offers a dual career path to its student-athletes under a modified curriculum and therefore has a duty of care to ensure that the academic standards at school are maintained. With this in mind, a minimum threshold of 40% in all three subjects is required to be considered for the next phase of the process. In summary, for the avoidance of any doubt, any student-applicant that does not obtain a 40% or better mark in any or all of the three subjects will be eliminated from the process at this stage.

Phase Five

The interview phase of the process carries the final 10% of the overall weighting and although there will be applicants that have already qualified to gain entry to the school it is nonetheless compulsory.

The interviews are carried out in a casual and clam manner and are conducted in the presence of the student’s parents or guardians. The interview phase is conducted taking into account four areas of interest.

These are:-

The interviews are carried out by a panel of three [3] which consists of the Chairperson of the Selection Board, a representative from the Ministry of Education and the school’s Sports Psychologist. The Sports Psychologist is in attendance as an integral part of the interview board but also as a safety net for the children. The interview board scores each student privately and then the overall interview mark is computed after the final interview has been completed.

Students that have attained a place by scoring enough points in the process before the interview stage will not be informed of this fact prior to the interviews but may be told they have attained a place at the NSS at the conclusion of their interview.

Phase Six

The publication of results will happen just as soon as the interview marks have been computed and added to the table of results.

The results will be communicated to the parents or guardians of the students not more than five [5] days after the final interview is conducted and will be published simultaneously at the Customer Care Office, Directorate for Educational Services in Floriana.

2019 Selection Process Timetable

The following dates may be subject to change. All application forms will be acknowledged and parents will receive a letter informing them whether their child has been successful in gaining a trial/sports assessment.

Results of the Selection Process

On completion of all interviews with the short-listed recommended students, the Selection Board will make its final decisions. The Selection Board will notify all candidates of the final result of the selection process. Candidates may receive notification of one of the following: 

  • A Provisional Place which they then accept or decline;
  • A Reserve Place which they can accept or decline;
  • No Place

Any form of soliciting to influence the selection of students will automatically exclude the applicant from the process. This covers political, personal approaches, bribes et al.

Message from the Selection Board

The only person that can guarantee your child a place at the National Sports School is your child themselves.

If they are a highly skilled young athlete and identified by their National Sport Body as such during the trials phase of the process then they stand a very good chance of admittance. But, the realities are that the children attending the NSS will not play for Real Madrid or achieve a Gold Medal at the Olympics and will need to find paid work at the end of their education. In respect of education the NSS is not looking for educational excellence at the exam phase of the process but rather educational competence. After all, with the above in mind, none of us would by choice send our children to a school known for a poor academic record.

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